‘Cycladica’ around the Urla Peninsula, Izmir, during the 3rd and 2nd Millennia BC
Melian obsidian, as a valued material originating from one of the Cycladic islands – Melos – connected these regions through exchange and enabled the islanders to reach beyond their own habitat and explore both mainlands from the Neolithic period onwards. In light of archaeological evidence, earliest contacts of the western Anatolian coastline with the Cyclades goes back to the Neolithic with abundant finds of Melian obsidian at various sites in western Anatolia. These contacts continued during the 5th and 4th millennia BC as evidenced by shared forms of pottery, marble and obsidian finds both on the islands and in western Anatolia.
First half of the 3rd millennium BC exhibits a new and flourishing cultural phase for the Cyclades. With the growing need for the distribution of obsidian and advances in metallurgy, the islanders began to dominate the Aegean Sea and a heretofore unseen Cycladic influence is evidenced on the coastal settlements of the Greek mainland, Crete and western Anatolia.
|The Urla Peninsula in modern Turkey, with key harbour sites like Liman Tepe |
and Çeşme-Bağlararası [Credit: Vasif Sahoglu]
After the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, with the increasing demand for metals and the emergence of the Anatolian Trade Network (ATN), Anatolia enters a new phase involving far-reaching interregional contacts. The cultural assemblages resulting from the western extension of this network are labelled as the “Kastri Phase” in the Cyclades and as “Lefkandi I” on the Greek Mainland. Both assemblages are characterized by Anatolian or “Anatolianizing” elements. The Urla peninsula is one of the main gateways of the Anatolian mainland that leads to the Aegean during this period and Liman Tepe, as the most important harbour site in the region, reached its zenith during this period.
|Sauceboat: Cycladic import at Liman Tepe (3rd Millennium BC) |
[Credit: Vasif Sahoglu]
Minoan seafarers, using the sail as well as new technological advances in boatmaking, began to dominate the Aegean Sea from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC onwards. Çeşme – Bağlararası, at the westernmost tip of the Urla Peninsula, became an important hub of trade and exchange during this period as evidenced by numerous Cycladic and Minoanizing finds at the site.
|White slipped Jug: Cycladic Import at Çeşme, Bağlararası (2nd Millennium BC) |
[Credit: Vasif Sahoglu]
“‘Cycladica’ around the Urla Peninsula, Izmir, during the 3rd and 2nd Millennia BC” is the title of the lecture to be given by Vasif Sahoglu, Professor at Ankara University, Department of Archaeology, on Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 7.00 p.m., in the lecture hall of the Archaeological Society at Athens (22, Panepistmiou str., Athens).
The lecture is part of the Cycladic Seminar series of the Archaeological Society at Athens, organized by Marisa Marthari.
Source: The Archaeological Society of Athens [March 05, 2016]